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Rising curatorial talents win Art Fund financing to build museum collections


The UK’s Art Fund has announced the latest winners of its New Collecting Awards, chosen to help rising star curators to build collections for their museums.

A total of almost £300,000 (US$362,000, €323,000) has been allocated by the fundraising charity for art, to provide seven young curators with the budget for acquisitions, research, travel and training costs, as well as ongoing support from Art Fund staff, trustees and a mentor.

“An important part of being a curator today is drawing out the potential of their museums’ collections and considering how best to develop them in new ways,” said Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director.

“The New Collecting Awards give some of the UK’s rising curatorial stars the opportunity to diversify their institutions’ holdings, bringing benefit to a widening range of audiences and helping our museums to thrive.”

The award scheme is in its fifth year and has granted more than £1.5m (US$1.81m, €1.62m) to support 30 UK museum curators in building museum collections in imaginative and visionary ways. The awards are made possible by donations from both individuals and trusts, including the Wolfson Foundation, the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, the Coral Samuel Charitable Trust and the Vivmar Foundation.

The 2019 winners are:

Tania Moore; Sainsbury Centre, Norwich: offered £80,000 to acquire sculptors’ drawings and works on paper by international women artists.

Uthra Rajgopal; the Whitworth, the University of Manchester: offered £38,600 to develop the gallery’s collection of South Asian textile artworks by female artists.

Lucy Creighton; Yorkshire Museum, York: offered £50,000 to diversify and strengthen the museum’s collection of pre-1600 archaeology and numismatics.

Ben Miller; The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent: offered £25,000 to build a collection exploring the 300-year history of North Staffordshire ceramics created for and used by the hospitality industry.

Natalie Kane; V&A, London: offered £35,000 to research and collect examples of digital design.

Louise Boyd; National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh: offered £40,000 to acquire a number of ehon, Japanese woodblock-printed illustrated books.

Emily Riddle; The Hepworth, Wakefield: offered £30,000 to collect post-war ceramics by artists associated with the Central School of Arts and Crafts.

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